Villeneuve Expands Lady Jessica Role in ‘Dune’ to Make Her More Than ‘an Expensive Extra’

Rebecca Ferguson is no stranger to blockbuster filmmaking thanks to her ongoing role as Ilsa Faust in Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible” series, and the actress is set to get a second studio franchise later this year with Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” adaptation.

Ferguson stars in the film as Lady Jessica, mother to the protagonist Paul Atreides (played in the film by Timothée Chalamet).

In Frank Herbert’s novel, Lady Jessica’s role is primarily that of a mother and supportive figure.

Villeneuve was keen to expand the role.“I didn’t want Lady Jessica to be an expensive extra,” Villeneuve tells Empire magazine in a new interview.

“Something I deeply love in the book is that there was a strong balance between the masculine power and feminine power.”To lean more strongly into the feminine power of the book, Villeneuve worked with his screenwriters Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts

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